Guest Post: Wigram / Magdala Overbridge Update

Guest blogger Robert has been keeping an eye on the Wigram Rd / Magdala Pl overbridge works:

This project is now cruising toward the finish line after 18 months of construction work to date. The expected month of completion is October 2016. Anyone having recently  ridden the detour route between each interrupted end of the Southern Motorway Cycle Path, or having driven along the Southern Motorway itself will be well aware of the progress that has been made. 

The new overbridge takes shape

The new overbridge takes shape

Essentially it involves the construction of a bridge connecting Wigram Road with Magdala Place, enabling vehicles (and bikes) to fly over the busy Curletts Road arterial and continue along Birmingham Drive, creating a minor arterial route into Addington and Riccarton facilitating traffic flow from the growth developments of Wigram and Awatea Road areas.

The Wigram-Magdala Link connection (click to enlarge)

The Wigram-Magdala Link connection (click to enlarge)

From a cycling perspective, finally the Southern Motorway Pathway will be separated all the way from Barrington Street to Halswell Junction Road, a distance of over 7km.  At present, the journey requires a less-than-pleasant foray onto busy roads, from Annex Road and Birmingham Drive junction, along Lunns Road and Curletts Road (footpath) to Parkhouse Road, then Treffers and Wigram Roads to join the Motorway pathway at the Agricultural Park underpass. This is heavy-vehicle country and no fun on a bike. The deviated journey at present is 2.4 km and take 10 minutes or so.  Once completed, this separated/shared path of around 3 metres width will be under 1 km, taking hopefully less than 5 minutes.

Part of the new path alongside Magdala Pl, looking west towards the new overbridge

Part of the new path alongside Magdala Pl, looking west towards the new overbridge

Whilst the construction detour is tedious, it has been well signed. A rough and ready footpath adaptation at Treffers Road allows the intersection with Parkhouse Road to be safely-ish negotiated. Interesting that the signage at the Wigram Road end is already in place and ready to go.

Good detour signage at the moment on Curletts Rd

Good detour signage at the moment on Curletts Rd

Conversely on the eastern side, the new traffic light controlled intersection at Annex Road, Magdala Road and Birmingham Drive is in use. It is big, bold and confusing for most. There is no signage, nor green paint for guidance (still to come – Ed), so pedal carefully. Compared however to the previous squeeze, it is promising, and will be great once everyone has settled in.

The new traffic signals at Annex/Birmingham

The new traffic signals at Annex/Birmingham

The addition of this section into the Little River Link CCC Major Cycleway route completes another piece of the jigsaw.  Once the Moorhouse  Avenue to Barrington Street section is executed (sneaking around Church Square in Addington, through Spreydon to the Southern Motorway path and an upgrade of Marylands Reserve pathway) it will be almost possible some time in 2017 to ride a bike on a city limits quality surface sans traffic from the Canterbury Museum all the way to the Little River Cafe…

The new pathway already available on Wigram Rd

The new pathway already available on Wigram Rd

Woo-hoo!

Beat that: Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Hawkes Bay and Nelson…

Importantly too, consider how easy it is going to be to commute (by bike, e-bike, motorised skateboard , or mobility scooter) from the city south west to the CBD. No parking cost or petrol price worries.

A sign that we're starting to see more and more...

A sign that we’re starting to see more and more…

Accessibility city, Here We Come.

Are you looking forward to the new Wigram/Magdala overbridge?

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6 Comments

  • Cyclomaniac
    15 June 2016, 6:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing Robert – so looking forward to see this completed!!!

    REPLY
  • SW Commuter
    20 June 2016, 12:11 pm

    Thanks for the post. I use Annex Road on my daily commute. Enjoying the new road surface through the lights, but find the Annex northbound green phase to be pretty short. Allows a cyclist to mount and exit the intersection from just before the red signal. I can that this will frustrate the oncoming right-turning traffic (Annex into Magdela) in the future…

    REPLY
  • David
    21 June 2016, 10:14 pm

    Thanks for the article Robert. I note your comment about being able to link to the Little River rail trail, however I am disappointed that there will not be a dedicated separated bike path built alongside the Southern Motorway Stage 2 when it is pushed through to Rolleston. The feedback that I have is that once the motorway is extended, the amount of traffic on the local roads will be reduced and hence safer to ride (Main South Road and Shands/Selwyn Roads), however the roads will still be open road with 80-100kph speed limits and not a very wide safety shoulder. I used to live in South Australia and when they built a new 20km section of motorway out to the Barossa Valley, they put in a separate bike path alongside it. It would be great to see this included out to Rolleston. It would encourage more people to ride from there into the city.

    REPLY
    • Tammy@David
      15 July 2016, 4:09 pm

      Excitingly, Selwyn are building a cycleway from Rolleston to Templeton in 2018/19, to coincide with the extension of the Southern Motorway. And the CCC Major Cycleways network is due to extend out to Templeton.

      REPLY
  • Rich
    3 July 2016, 9:54 pm

    To link to the Little River trail they still need a path on the 2 km of Springs Road between the end of the motorway and Prebbleton before linking in to the Birchs Road path. There is plenty of room on the shoulder in most places for a path there.

    REPLY

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